Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brief History Of Accordion ( From Answers.com )


Development of the accordion is generally thought to have been inspired by the Chinese Cheng, the first known instrument to use a free vibrating reed to create sound. This instrument was invented approximately 5,000 years ago. It consists of a series of Bamboo pipes, a resonator box, a wind chamber, and a mouthpiece It has a shape that resembles a phoenix and was introduced to European musicians in 1777.
The first accordions were invented in the early nineteenth century. In Germany, Christian Buschmann introduced and patented an instrument called the "Handaeoline" in 1822. It had an expandable bellows, a portable keyboard, and a series of free vibrating reeds inside. Seven years later, Cyrillus Damian refined the instrument by adding four bass keys that produced chords. He was awarded a patent for this instrument, which he called an accordion.
Over the next several decades, various improvements were made to the accordion. One major modification was made in 1850, when the Chromatic
accordion was introduced. The early Diatonic accordions produced different notes when the bellows were drawn opened and pressed closed. The chromatic versions produce the same note regardless of the action of the bellows. Steel reeds were incorporated into the instrument in 1857. As several early companies, such as Hohner, Soprani, and Dallape, began manufacturing the instrument in the 1860s, other changes were made. The addition of more bass keys was particularly important. By the early twentieth century, manufacturers had settled on a standard size and shape for the instruments, which eventually led to the modern accordion.
The incorporation of electronics into accordions began around World War II. At first, they were wired to allow a hookup
through an electronic organ. Eventually, accordions were connected to electronic boxes of their own, allowing for sound generation, amplification and speakers. A recent development is the inclusion of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) systems with conventional accordions. Instruments which have MIDI contacts can be connected to any MIDI-compatible device, such as synthesizers, electronic pianos, and sound modules.

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